It was a normal April day in Canberra, sun was shining, birds were cherping and all was well.
Then came night, and with the darkness came the onset of imminent danger. Danger from a band of not so merry misfits, named One Man Short. A team we were supposed to play some weeks back but didn't. A team who's strength was obviously not in the batting, nor bowling, nor fielding department. A team who's win loss record read like Richo's scorecard this season 4 - 19! With this danger thrust forth in their minds, the Partridge Famulee donned hats of lime, shirts of purple and wielded bats of umm, willow. With this game ready to propel us into the finals next week, it was the final chance for all and sundry (except those not playing) to sure up a position in the "top 8".
Could the good guys (us) beat the team of unlawful, unfunny and unfit (read bad guys) characters? Read on.........................
The body of work
The captain for the night - Gadj went downstairs with two overs remaining in the previous game, to toss the coin with the opposition captain. Preparation is the key for as we know "there is no substitute for a genuine lack of preparation" - don't we Sticks? Anyway, Gadj tossed the coin, the opposition captain called heads, it came up heads and I decided we'd have a bat.
As per the hat order, the two "youngest" members of the team, hat no.'s 48 and 47 (aka Peter "I'm in the top 8 for the finals" Bowman and Stuart "By the way, I have no undies on" Dunn) were sent it to rattle the cage of the underperforming opposition. One over gone, we'd slapped our way to 20 after 7 balls only for Knuckles to get run out (by Skip). 15 after 1, the procession was starting to take shape..........then overs of -4, 10 & -16 really put shape into our pair shaped performance. GET OFF YA BASTARDS. Skip, tale between legs, trudged off after scoring a valuable 2 in the partnership of 5. Knuckles, now looking with more resolve toward his bowling, now needed a startling performance with the ball to keep him in the "top 8". (I'll let you in on a secret folks, he got CARTED).
Second pairing of 46 & 34 (Special Fried Ri..........oh, sorry, wrong no. 46...... ahh, Marty "I'm growing my perm out" Beggs and Morris "Ok Marty, I wont try and run two" Wilson) with the only notable event being Mojo's leg bye for WUUUUUUUUUNNNNNNN which brought up 1500 career runs. Overs of 12, 11, -12 & 5 ensured that mediocrity was well within reach. 21 after 8 overs.
The older more mature pairing of 5 & 3 (Peter "stop this debate about how I got no.5, it's the diameter (in inches) of my Schlong" Bolton & Luke "Go the Hawks" Hickey) went about steadying the ship. Except the wheels of the ship fell off after the first over of 18. They cruuuuuuised along to 58 after 12 with some cacky hander at the back net causing all strife for the boys, grabbing everything in sight, like a seasoned clepto!
Lastly and not leastly, the more fit pairing of 2 & 1 (Jase "threehundredandwhatthousand?" Wright & Scott "woohoopissupatHerc'splace" Amos) being sent in last to right the wrongliness of what was occurring out on the field. Bugger, only the last over saving them from notverygoodthings. 84 after 16, a modest but defendable tally in normal circumstances. Hence, this was going to be difficult.
We strode out onto the field, a formidable outfit indeed, suited up in green hats o' splendour, purply coloured hawaiin's, some with pizza stains, some without. Gadj called a huddle and said "now, this is what we're gonna do, we're gonna go in numerical order and rotate each over starting at the highest number and going to the lowest". And so it was that each over, we rotated the bowling, wicketkeeping, deat seat (WA WA's position) and back net. To f*ck all avail.
Anyway, I digress.................Knuckles bowled the first over and went for 10. He straight away blamed Schlang for his "wicketkeeping". A term used loosely with Schlang back there, but nevertheless easier to say than "a bloke up the back getting whacked cos he can't play/keep to spin". And that's saying Knuckles spins the ball too! Big call hey?
Second, Skip.......Skip's thunderbolts were sup-berbly stopped by Sticks...........shins, feet, arm, shoulder etc whilst wicketkeeping. Marty up the back net was truly in awe of what the great man's son was doing. Skip -2. Marty had Jase behind the stumps at the other end but that didn't stop him from getting only 2 off his over. Mojo on the other hand had Gadj behind the stumps, poor bastard. But nothing got thru (thank goodness or it would've been dangerous) barring for one leg side, and a total of 3 off the over. After one pairing 13 (remember that figure folks) and we were still in the game. Schlang followed up with a 7 off his over but then things turned nasty with a couple of Sydney harbor bridges occurring from Jase, Luke's over went for nananananananineteen. Jase, seizing the opportunity, bowled the following over 0, TB, RO, 3, 1, RO, B, B (TB being third ball) and a total of -24 off the over. Gadj finished the partnership with a 3 to take the tally of One Foot Short to 21! Equal after 8.
The second eight followed the same sort of ordinariness, Knuckles got slapped around for 14, Skip bowled well (but had an over of 6 including 5 overthrows!), Marty -2, Mojo 20............what the? yep, 20. All of a sudden the good guys were looking ordinary. 59 after 12 and only 26 to win. Could we do it. No, doubt it.
The question of could we win it was answered when Schlang went for 14 and then Sticks for 21. Our only hope was a miracle - and it didn't occur. Our mediocrity rose to the middle and we officially died with our legs in the air! Herc continued his great night with a 1 off his last over and Gadj an 8 ball last over for 5. Total of the baddies 100. Us 84, net -16. Highlights in the field being a great catch in close by Sticks, a crashintothestumps run out by Gadj and another blinder by Sticks on the leg side. Sydney harbors to just about everyone, cos this time everyone got a go on the back net. Oh and who could forget Stuart "my brain's exploded" Dunn who absolutely lost the plot when the batsman were running singles off his bowling, arking up when he caught the batter out the next over "yyyeeehh, take that f*ckstick"!
Boo, we lost, but did we win the Houndstooth points :
Herc 2 overs, 0 maiden, 6/-20 and 12 runs (net 32) 3 Points
No Look 2 overs, 0 maiden, 3/0 and 9 runs (net 9) 2 Points
Gadj 2 overs, 0 maiden, 3/8 and 14 runs (net 6) 1 Point
After the game the post mortems were had with a lot of blame going on from all angles. I truly felt it was an all round team effort, except for Herc, who shone! See what parting with $300000 does to your cricket?!?!
All said and done we had an impromptu AGM (Almost General Meeting) conducted by Herc in which motions were passed and other motions were vetoed. Those passed will make their way into the commandments on the net. Those not, will be put into memorium. The result being that more fines were handed out in retrospect than the entire game. Remarkably no batsman made a negative. The highest tally for the night, was Hersch, who took 138 photos in the photo booth! Can't wait to see them on the net.
Many many thanks to Forrest, Boof, Muz for coming out and supporting us. It wasn't in vain either as Muz actually learnt the real/alias names of some of the team. Well done Muz! (dud)
After a disappointing night, the big question was asked, can Pete Bowman (-21 on the night) make the top 8, stay tuned to find out.........................